I've been a fan of Pulitzer Prize-winning science writer Deborah Blum since a colleague gave me Blum's book "Sex on the Brain" more than a decade ago. (Another reason to like Blum: She teaches journalism at my alma mater.) So I was interested to see a Q&A with her over on the Communication Breakdown blog today. There Blum discusses, among other things, her move from writing news stories to penning books, her propensity to delve into the history of science in her writing, and her decision to start blogging:
CB: You started the Elemental blog on Wired Science in 2010, while still continuing to write freelance news pieces and working on your books. Given all of the outlets that you had for your writing, why start a blog?
Blum: Really it was the reverse process of “The Monkey Wars.” There I wrote a newspaper series and realized that there was a much larger story I wanted to tell, that it justified a book. Here I wrote a book ["The Poisoners Handbook"] and realized there were many smaller stories I wanted to tell – poisons that I still wanted to write about, stories that I’d left out of my book. And I wanted to bring the subject forward – to connect the toxicology of the past with chemical exposures today. That’s really important to me.